In news that is sure to make fans of the always entertaining RIZIN Fighting Federation happy, the Japanese juggernaut will reportedly quadruple the number of events they hold yearly very soon.
CEO of RIZIN, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, spoke to Yahoo! Japan about his future plans.
“I think that we should be able to do three types of RIZIN shows. The big shows, the medium-sized shows, and the smaller-sized shows. The big, blockbuster shows and the medium-sized shows would be about four times per year each. I think small shows would be doable, on a monthly basis.”
So, for reference, the RIZIN 12 show at the Dolphins Arena would classify as a mid-level show. As they were able to seat a little over 5,500 in a nice, compact arena with a solid – but not stacked – fight card. These would, in a way, be comparable to the Bushido cards that PRIDE used to put on.
The larger shows would be comparable to what we see out of RIZIN every December 31, or even the recent RIZIN 11 fight card. All of which take place at the Saitama Super Arena.
Again, for reference, RIZIN 11 drew an attendance of a little beneath 20,000. But back in PRIDE’s heyday, they were able to comfortably fill the same arena with 25,000+ every time they traveled there. So RIZIN surely will hope to replicate the same “big fight” feel when they begin these cards. To really separate their big shows from their mid-to-low-level shows.
As for their small shows, Japan is home to tons of smaller indoor sporting arenas and gymnasiums. The recently shut down Differ Ariake – seated 1,000 to 1,500 – is a good example of what they would be looking to achieve with these shows.
Nothing is set in stone, and of course plans could change.
But as of right now, this is the eventual goal. Whether it start in 2019, or 2020. The promotion will reportedly work with DEEP and Shooto to help fill out their smaller cards if this plan does begin to take shape, though.
From two shows in 2015, to four in 2016, and five in both 2017 and 2018. We may see RIZIN quadruple recent numbers very, very soon.